A Bibb County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that schools Superintendent Romain Dallemand must be allowed to defend himself in a lawsuit before the judge can consider issuing an injunction against Dallemands employment contract.
Lizella resident Brad DeFores suit was filed only against the school system and school board.
Judge Edgar Ennis ruled that without the inclusion of Dr. Dallemand in the (DeFore) suit, the Court is without jurisdiction to grant the relief (DeFore) seeks. Ennis denied DeFores injunction request, but said DeFore may renew the effort after adding Dallemand to the lawsuit.
Less than an hour after the decision was filed, Defores attorney, Charles E. Cox Jr., was already revising the lawsuit with plans to file it Thursday morning.
The amended complaint is going to be filed tomorrow morning along with a renewal of my motion (for an injunction) and well serve Superintendent Dallemand and invite him to the party, Cox said Wednesdsay.
DeFore claims the school system created illegal contracts for Dallemand both in December and in 2011. He filed the lawsuit, seeking to have a judge invalidate the contracts and stop payments.
Ennis ruled that Dr. Dallemand has a clear and substantial interest in whether the school system continued paying under his contracts. Without participation in the (DeFore) suit, Dr. Dallemand will be unable to effectively protect his interests, Ennis ruled.
Ennis previously told Cox to formally notify Dallemand that he had 30 days to consider joining the lawsuit. Ennis said in a Feb. 1 hearing that he knew Dallemand was aware of the lawsuit, but said, I dont want there to be any question. Court records do not show that Dallemand wanted to join the case, and he did not attend the Feb. 1 hearing.
Cox formally served Dallemand with a copy of the lawsuit Feb. 5. Cox said hed initially kept Dallemand out of the lawsuit to try to save taxpayer money.
I didnt believe he was necessary (to the lawsuit) and it was simply going to increase the amount of attorneys fees the school district would have to incur if he were served and hired his own counsel to make the same argument the school districts attorneys had just made, Cox said Wednesday.
DeFores lawsuit claims, in part, that the school board gave Dallemand a contract in December that doesnt match the motion and vote made in public. A school board attorney is arguing the board thought it was voting on a contract discussed behind closed doors, and the private discussion is the correct legal action. The motion made in public didnt describe provisions including an extra year of salary worth $198,000, plus benefits.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.